Surf Abu Dhabi


Eight years removed from the unveiling of the man-made wave that shocked the world, Kelly Slater is back again with a new wave system in a place that doesn’t see many waves. This short film follows the first documented waves at Surf: Abu Dhabi through the eyes of the greatest surfer of all time. Joined by the current world title holders Filipe Toledo and Caroline Marks, 8x World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, 3x World Champion Gabriel Medina, and Olympian Ramzi Boukhiam, Kelly explores the limits of the new wave system in the UAE. Kelly ponders the endless possibilities this new system presents in a place where there has never been a world class wave, until now.

Director's Statement

When I was first approached to direct the unveiling Surf: Abu Dhabi I could not have been more excited. Having worked with the Kelly Slater Wave Company on a number of projects over the years, I had a lot of familiarity with shooting at a wave pool. However, this time was different: there were higher stakes. It wasn’t about proving that the technology worked anymore, it was about showing how the sport was growing into a region that doesn’t have much of a history of surfing. That presented a unique challenge for us. 

Lucky for us, KSWC and Modon assembled an incredible cast of surfers. With nearly thirty world titles between the six athletes, we knew that there would be no shortage of amazing surfing. We decided to present the story through Kelly’s perspective, as no one would be better suited to attempt to explain what this system could mean for the sport of surfing. The result is a ten-minute short film that we hope gets you excited to get out there. 

— Andrew Mackenzie